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UN Chief Warns Governments on Brutal Lockdown Enforcement.
Category :- News Author :- N Gelmin S 
Posted on April 29, 2020, 4:29 pm
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Since the institution of lockdown by governments as part of measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, there has been growing reports on abuses caused by forces of law and order I a bid to enforce the measure.

Owing to this, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, has called the attention of governments not to take the citizens for the enemy as this could lead to a possible human right disaster. “Recognize that the threat is a virus, not people,’’ she said.

lockdown brutality

Bachelet has called on countries to refrain from violating fundamental rights "under the guise of exceptional or emergency measures". "Emergency powers should not be a weapon government can wield to quash dissent, control the population, and even perpetuate their time in power," she warned, adding that the governments ‘should be used to cope effectively with the pandemic - nothing more, nothing less."

Reports from UN officials show that about 80 countries have declared emergencies due to the virus, including 15 where the allegations seem to command more attention.

lockdown brutality

The indicated countries where these acts have commanded more concern are: Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Honduras, Jordan, Morocco, Cambodia, Uzbekistan, Iran and Hungary.

According to Michael Ndung'u, a human rights advocate and youth leader with the Kiamaiko Community Social Justice Centre, this comes down to a basic lack of trust between underserved communities and the police.

lockdown brutality

"We have tried to bring the police and the people together, but that can't happen when they see the police shooting people, Ndung'u said, insisting that "This is not a war, this is a disease. You are supposed to treat people in a manner that will help the community ... not treating people like animals."

Some of those countries have arrested and detained tens of thousands of people for the violation of confinement measures linked to the pandemic. Kenyan authorities have recently been investigating 20 cases of death linked to police conduct in implementing curfew measures. 

lockdown brutality

Likewise, reports from South Africa show that police have been using rubber bullets, tear gas, water bombs and whips, to enforce social distancing, especially in poor neighborhoods. Based on the reports, about thirty-nine complaints about charges including murder, rape, use of firearms and corruption are being investigated.

Meanwhile, UN reports from Nigeria reveal that security forces have killed 18 people in relation to COVID-19 enforcement measures, some of which the Nigerian authorities have attributed to prison violence.


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